Skip to Content

Liverpool loses in Europa League after controversial VAR decision, as Jurgen Klopp left angered by press conference

By Ben Church, CNN

(CNN) — Another game and yet another controversial video assistant referee (VAR) decision.

This time, it was Liverpool which was denied a last-minute equalizer in its Europa League group stage match against Toulouse on Thursday, after Jarell Quansah’s goal to make it 3-3 was ruled out.

The young defender had seemingly rescued a point for the visitors in the seventh minute of added time, but his effort was eventually ruled out for handball in the buildup.

The game, which finished 3-2 to Toulouse, was plunged into confusion as the on-field referee, Georgi Kabakov, appeared to initially give the goal, before reversing his decision and going to check the replay monitors at the side of the pitch.

After reviewing the footage, he ruled the goal out, judging that Liverpool’s Alexis Mac Allister handled the ball 14 seconds before the goal went in.

The decision sent Stadium TFC into a frenzy, leaving Le Téfécé celebrating a famous win and Liverpool players incensed.

“We scored a third goal, I think it’s a goal, 100%. I’m not even sure the ball touches the hand at all, but that’s how it is,” Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp told TNT Sports after the match.

Match footage shows that the ball came off Mac Allister’s chest and onto his arm as he tried to control a clearance. Liverpool then started another attack, with Toulouse unable to clear the ball on a number of occasions before Quansah’s shot found the back of the net.

Despite the controversial ending, Klopp acknowledged his team had not been good enough and had made too many “mistakes.”

“We weren’t aggressive enough. They [Toulouse] won all the decisive battles and challenges. We gave balls easily away,” a frustrated Klopp told reporters after the match.

“With all the possession, obviously, we should have created more and could have created more.

“You cannot concede three goals here tonight. That makes no sense, but because they fought harder, they were more aggressive in the challenges, it’s deserved. Congratulations to Toulouse.”

Chaotic press conference

Toulouse had gone 2-0 up in the match, courtesy of goals from Aron Dønnum and Thijs Dallinga, before Liverpool halved the deficit through an own-goal by Cristian Cásseres Jr.

The home side, which had two other goals ruled out by VAR during the game, then re-established a two-goal cushion through Frank Magri.

Liverpool’s Diogo Jota finished off a brilliant solo run in the 89th minute to set up a tense conclusion to the match, which eventually ended in the VAR controversy.

The win for Toulouse moves it to second in Group E, with Liverpool still top having won its previous three matches in the competition.

The night only got worse for Klopp, though, with the manager furious about the organization of his post-match press conference.

Toulouse fans could be heard singing and playing drums near where Klopp was speaking to reporters, making it hard for the already irritated manager to hear the questions.

“Who had the idea to do the press conference here? That would be a really interesting question. Wow,” a visibly tense Klopp said.

Luis Díaz’s father released

It wasn’t all bad news for Liverpool on Thursday, though.

Before the game, news broke that Reds forward Luis Díaz’s father, who was kidnapped by a Colombian guerrilla group last month, had been released.

Luis Manuel Díaz and his wife, Cilenis Marulanda, were kidnapped by armed men from the National Liberation Army (ELN) on motorcycles at a gas station in Barrancas, the family’s hometown in northern Colombia, on October 28.

Marulanda was rescued later that same day, but a major police and military search operation had been ongoing in an attempt to find Díaz Sr.

On Thursday, shortly before kick-off in Toulouse, he was eventually handed over to representatives of the United Nations and the Catholic Church in Valledupar, Colombia.

“Lucho [Luis Díaz] is really happy. Thumbs up all the time. It looks good. Very, very good,” Klopp told TNT Sports before the match.

“Timing wise, it couldn’t have been better. If it’s today then great. That’s all I can say.”

When asked about his decision to start Díaz against Toulouse, Klopp said: “We asked him, he wants to [play] and he will.”

™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - Sports

Jump to comments ↓

CNN Newsource


News Channel 3 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content